With all the taxpayer money President Obama is throwing into his budget and the so-called stimulus bill, not to mention his recent apology tour in Europe and the Caribbean , it’s easy to forget the enormity of Obama’s assaults on conservative social values.
Social conservatives have toiled for more than a generation to make small, incremental advances in promoting pro-life, pro-family policies. In the first 100 days of his presidency, Barack Obama, reinforced by strong leftwing majorities in both houses of Congress, has done more to undermine those advances than any other politician during a similar time period.
Pro-life, pro-family advocates have faced tough times before. The implementation of radical social policies took place under Presidents Carter and Clinton too. But there’s something different about the scope of President Obama’s agenda. Look closely and it’s clear that Obama and his allies want much more than to secure more rights and handouts for their liberal constituencies. They also want to force all Americans to pay for and participate in them.
Consider “homosexual rights.” The White House website states that Obama wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states not to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states. Obama and his congressional allies also are pushing hard the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would punish employers who discriminate against homosexuals in hiring practices.
Then there are so-called hate crimes laws, which would criminalize “hate speech,” including speech critical of homosexuality. The White House website states that Obama “will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation…and expand hate crimes protection…” Congress is currently at work on hate crimes legislation that could lead to prosecuting those who speak out against homosexuality. Christian pastors and conservative politicians in Europe and Canada have been fined and jailed under similar laws.
Barack Obama’s assaults on the family have been felt most deeply by its most vulnerable members: the unborn and the elderly. Just days into his presidency, Obama overturned by executive order the Mexico City Policy, which required organizations receiving taxpayer funds not to promote or perform abortions overseas. He also said he “looks forward” to giving taxpayer dollars to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which promotes abortion overseas and supports China’s coercive one-child policy.
In early March Obama overturned President Bush’s executive order limiting federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research (HESCR). While Obama’s decision was expected, it was also curious in that it came at a time when effective and moral alternatives to HESCR are providing treatments and cures to scores of ailments.
In a memorandum issued on the day he overturned Bush’s limitations, Obama stated that his move would restore “scientific integrity” to government decision-making. But, due to the advances of alternative and ethical forms of stem cell research, many leading scientists believe there is no longer a need to exploit human embryos for research. President Obama’s decision showed clearly that he does not intend to allow ethical science to get in the way of advancing his radical anti-life agenda. Nor will he allow taxpayers off the hook for paying for it.
Perhaps President Obama’s most egregious assault on the family was his decision to eliminate a regulation that affirms the right of doctors and other health professionals not to participate in abortion or sterilization, a move that is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Americans, including most doctors.
On physician-assisted suicide, the Obama administration has quietly taken steps toward forcing all Americans to comply with its utilitarian view of human life. The stimulus bill included $1 billion for research into creating guidelines to direct doctors’ treatment of difficult high cost medical problems. The provision created an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Department of Health and Humans Services. Part of the new office’s duty will be to “reduce health care costs resulting from inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information.” Thanks to the Obama administration, bureaucrats may soon have more influence than you or your doctor over the medical treatment you receive.
The most extreme elements of President Obama’s agenda involve compelling all Americans to comply with the Left’s radical views on the meaning of sexuality and human life. But there are a host of other actions that Obama has taken that should concern anyone who cares about the family.
One of the most surprising is Obama’s backtracking on education reform. Obama spoke often during the presidential campaign about the need for education reforms like merit pay for public school teachers and school choice to help level the playing field for disadvantaged kids. But he has gotten off to bad start by signing an omnibus bill that included a policy that will soon end the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to poor students to attend safe, successful schools of their choice.
Few entities have been as hard hit by the recession as charitable organizations. But Obama recently reduced in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget the amount that some families can deduct from their income taxes for charitable giving. This move disproportionately affects religious organizations and nonprofits, many of whose existence depend on charitable giving. By transferring wealth and power from religious and community-based programs to government bureaucrats, our community organizer president cuts away vital lifelines for those vulnerable citizens who depend on the community help he formerly championed.
Sadly, this is not an exhaustive list of Barack Obama’s assaults on human life and family during his first 100 days in power. But this is no time for conservative complacency. Millions of Americans who oppose Obama’s radical agenda either failed to vote last November or voted for Obama with the false belief that he would govern as a moderate.
Given the speed and severity of attacks on issues important to social conservatives, not to mention the important battles looming — including the imposition of anti-family tax schemes and possible Supreme Court appointments — pro-family conservatives need to step up efforts to educate Americans on what is happening and on the importance of voting their values. The lesson of Obama’s first 100 days is: elections matter.